Meredith Goins (’00), an SIS alum, doctoral student, and a new SIS lecturer, was recently recognized by the Tennessee Library Association with the TLA Honor Award. This award is given to people who have made significant contributions to librarianship at either a state or national level.
Goins has spent the last 20 years volunteering in various capacities, including: serving on the Blount County Public Library Board of Trustees and the Tennessee Advisory Council on Libraries (TACL) for the State Library and Archives of Tennessee; mentoring more than 25 librarians and assisting more than 150 individuals through TLA’s Career Services; serving as the editor of the TLA newsletter; and serving on the TLA Leadership Roundtable, the TLA Career Services Committee, the TLA Development Committee, and the TLA Membership Committee.
“I had a mentor early on in my career who always made time for me; she would look over my resume and run through interview questions with me. She told me that I had to promise to do this for others in our field and I ask the same of the individuals I help,” Goins said. “It’s all about supporting my community, it’s all about them. It’s the same reason I’m going after my PhD, besides that I’m curious and want to learn more, I really want our next generation to be successful.”
Goins has been a group manager in research, review, evaluation and technology at ORAU for the past four years, where she oversees a team of researchers who identify and secure peer reviewers for federal government grant proposals, and perform research support such as literature reviews and market research. It is her many years of experience as a manager in the field that led to her teaching Management for Information Organization as a lecturer for SIS this summer.
“I was lucky I found a mentor when I did, that doesn’t happen for everyone. I want to be able to turn that around and do that for our next generation of students. So when I was on a call with [SIS Director Diane Kelly] and she said, ‘We need a teacher,’ and I said absolutely I will do it,” Goins recounted.
While Goins will readily acknowledge the many hours of work and volunteering she has poured into her career and volunteering, she also makes it clear that she could not have done it without the support of her family and her network of information colleagues.
As for the TLA award, Goins said she’s seen the list of past recipients and considers it a great honor to be included in such a group – though bittersweet because she was not able to thank everyone in person as the 2020 TLA conference was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It’s because of all the membership that I do what I do, so thanks to all of them, past and present,” she said.